May 11, 2017

Today in History: U.S. declares war on Mexico (1846)

John RobsonArchive

On May 11th, 1846 U.S. President James Polk asked Congress for, and quickly got, a declaration of war against Mexico.

The resulting American victory was mostly a good thing, except for Texas then entering the Union as a slave state.

But the episode illustrates the difficulty of legislators and citizens limiting executive power in foreign policy, including on matters of war and peace, no matter what your Constitution says, because the executive has wide discretion to commit the nation’s honor, security and armed forces in ways that effectively leave Congress or Parliament no choice in a crisis.

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commented 2017-05-11 22:10:21 -0400
Thank-you sir!
commented 2017-05-11 16:04:40 -0400
Another great commentary on history John Robson, thank you!

Art Vandelay, I agree, wikipedia is not a credible source for information.
commented 2017-05-11 15:37:10 -0400
Ok, so in light of this, what is the example we are learning from Republican France? They were effectively maneuvered by the executive into no choice but to declare a state of emergency? Ergo, the executive takes no responsibility for the current crisis? That does actually make sense.

BTW the wikipedia entry on France does not note that France is under a state of emergency that has lasted a year and half. Tells you all you need to know about wikipedia. Read books.